CLEARFIELD – A 31-year-old Karthaus man pleaded guilty on Thursday to the Nov. 10 robbery of the Medicine Shoppe in Clearfield.
Joseph Wayne Martell pleaded guilty to two counts of felony one robbery, two counts of felony two robbery, possession with intent to deliver OxyCodone, possession of a conrolled substance, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, and simple assault.
Martell entered an open plea, which leaves all the terms of the sentence up to the court, according to Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman.
Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. noted that the sentence will have a mandatory minimum of five years because a gun was involved.
“Robbery with guns, it’s dangerous business,” said Shaw, who added that the commonwealth will ask for the maximum possible penalty.
Shaw stated that the maximum penalty for one count of felony one robbery is 20 years in state prison. Martell is charged with two counts.
Court records state that on Nov. 10 the Medicine Shoppe in Clearfield was the site of an armed robbery. The report states that a man came into the pharmacy searching for a callous remover. An associate handed him some corn callous remover. The man handled that item, plus a few others before putting them back. The associate told police that they noticed the man shaking at the time.
He is reported to have exited the store and then returned wearing a long skeleton face mask and gloves and carrying a silky black bag.The man told an associate to give him Oxydodone. He reportedly showed the associate a silver and black pistol. When he saw another woman in an office on with a phone, he jumped to get the phone from her. He then fled in a silver SUV with no license plate noticeable, though a plate with “St. Marys” was on the front of the vehicle.
The man left with over $683 worth of prescription pain pills.
Officers processed the crime scene, looking for latent fingerprints.
Another witness, doing her laundry at the nearby laundromat, said she saw a man exit the Medicine Shoppe in a hurry. She stated he had a mask on, like the one worn in the movie “Scream,” and that he took it off as he got into his vehicle. She described him as having short dark hair, well built, over 6 feet tall, dressed in blue jeans and a black shirt, and that he entered a silver/gray SUV with no plates.
On Nov. 10, police received a phone call from PSP Ridgeway stating that they had stopped Joe Martell at his residence. A license plate was seen on the front of the vehicle, as well as a registration number. Officers spoke to Martell’s girlfriend who confirmed that they had a white skeleton mask with crooked teeth missing. She described the mask as a “bubble mask.”
On March 9 lab reports came back matching fingerprints from items the man in the pharmacy touched came back matching Martell’s.
“It was great teamwork by the law enforcement departments,” said Shaw. “It was a great case, a great resolution. It all came together.”
Shaw said that the investigations continue into other drug store robberies that occurred in the area.